As restrictions continue to lift across the nation, some of you may be feeling a sense of freedom. However, some of you may also be feeling anxious about adopting to new changes. I encourage you to take time to adapt, and reach out for support if needed. Returning to normality will move at a different pace for each of us, certainly if you are experiencing mental health challenges for the first time or already live with a mental health diagnosis.
It has been a busy month for the Commission with Senate Estimates, our Annual Report and the release of the latest Causes of Death Data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This sobering data only cements the Commission's continued commitment towards zero suicide deaths in Australia and to reducing the significance of suicidal ideation, risk and intentional self-harm.
I was encouraged by the many initiatives across the sector for World Mental Health Day. Thank you to everyone who got behind this important day. We are lucky to live in a nation where this year's theme of 'greater access and great investment' is becoming true. The Commission partnered with Mental Health Australia by encouraging each of our staff to make a promise on how they are going to look after their mental health and wellbeing throughout the year. A focus on good mental health and wellbeing is more than just one day, week or month, good mental health is important all year round.
As we head towards the end of this challenging year, we need to look back and reflect on at what we have faced in 2020, from bushfires, drought and floods to a global pandemic. You may feel fatigued from these ongoing impacts so it is important to seek help when needed. You can cope better when you have support, and even though we may not be physically united, we will get through this by helping each other.
Stay safe and well.
Have your say: what's on your wish list for the National Workplace Initiative?
The National Workplace Initiative will create a digital platform that will connect organisations with practical supports and services to help create mentally healthy workplaces.
For the past few months, the Commission’s team has been listening to workplaces about the questions they want answered and the kinds of features, tools and supports that would be most useful to them, as they create mentally healthy workplaces.
Now we would love to hear what is on your wish list.
It’s Movember! This year, the men’s health organisation is reminding Australians that in 2020, “it will be the most important Mo you’ll ever grow”. In what has been a tough year for us all, the charity is calling on ‘Mo Bros’ and ‘Mo Sisters’ to rally in support of Movember’s cause areas; men’s mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Head to their website and support this fun yet meaningful and important men’s health campaign.
New suicide data released by the ABS
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest Causes of Death Data last month which revealed that 3,318 Australians died by suicide in 2019. The Commission has, and will, continue to closely monitor mental health and suicide risk in every community, working with all jurisdictions, researchers and services to access quality and timely data. We continue our commitment to work towards zero suicide deaths in Australia.
This latest data has also been included in The National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring System website which was launched last month.
Read our statement
Held from 8-15 November, NAIDOC week is an important opportunity to continue to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year the theme is 'Always Was, Always Will Be'. The Commission continues to recognise the importance of the indigenous community and their emotional wellbeing in all of our work, especially on our Connections tour as part of the wider Vision 2030 project.
On November 11, we honour those men and women who served in Australia’s defence force. We encourage you to take the time to remember those who sacrificed not just their lives or their physical bodies, but also their mental health and wellbeing, in the defence of our nation and our freedom. We encourage you to take this opportunity to pause and to also talk to the veterans in your communities. Help them seek help if they need it, through organisations like Open Arms.
Support for veterans
eMental Health webinar
Last month our CEO Christine Morgan participated in the latest eMental Health Internal Collaborative Global eMental Health webinar. She joined leading service providers and advocates, to discuss the existing e-service landscape and explore the challenges and opportunities of integrating the different systems.